"God's art [Creation] speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like."
Francis Chan

Friday, July 11, 2014

Veins of Life



         For those of you who don't know, I am an Iowa girl, born and raised.  I make no bones about it, I am completely prejudiced when it comes to my love of Iowa - I see no other state that can compare.  Yes, I know it is humid here - I have come to terms with the fact that for about three and a half months out of the year we will need to make various outfit changes per day because of the problem of sweaty clothes.

          But I can't help it, every time I travel away and then return home, as soon as I pass over the state lines I am amazed all over again at the beauty of the state I call home.  No, we don't have oceans, or even mountains.  Ahh, but Iowa has miles and miles of lush green rolling hills of corn.  And, of course, Iowa wouldn't be Iowa without our corn.  And amongst all those beautiful fields awaiting harvest, are the creeks and rivers that bring life to quench the thirsty ground.

        These are where my thoughts have taken  me lately.  Kind of strange, I know.  But one other thing we have in Iowa (or I should say, had) is Grant Wood.  Much of his amazing art was created about twenty miles from my front door.  Of course that art in it's unique style, is full of the scenes that I was just talking about.  Grant Wood was an Iowa boy who appreciated the beauty of this special place too!   Lately I have been thinking about his lush paintings with the rolling hills and rivers.

     This painting is my ode to him.  I don't usually do landscapes - not really my thing.  But when I sat before the white canvas this time, I envisioned the landscape of a flower (obviously my thing!).  I tried to convey the flower as a landscape with rolling hills and valleys full of lush beauty.  And of course I wanted to convey the veins that bring the very life to each petal.  Without those veins bringing water to quench a thirsty plant, the petals shrivel up and die.

    If you ever get a chance, I encourage you to visit Iowa in the summer.   Note: bring lots of changes of clothes - the humidity isn't just a rumor.  There is something about those lush green, rolling hills and rivers  that words, or even pictures could never begin to capture.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

One Last Project with My Dad

This has been a project a long time in the making- two years to be exact.  Some of you may remember the two commission pieces that I completed for my dad after his sudden death in 2012.  This painting was another of his that he had started and hadn't gotten a chance to complete. This one was a little different in that it was going to go to a family member, my sweet niece, Serena.  Like so many of those it's-for-family-so-I-will-get-to-it-sooner-or-later projects, this one has sat on a shelf for two years.  Poor Serena!  I am sure she has thought that her aunt has completely forgotten about her promise to finish it.  But since Serena and her family are visiting my neck of the woods soon, I figured I had better get a move on!
As with the other projects, this was such a neat experience to get to learn from each of my father's brush strokes and color choices.  The painting was about half done when I started, and was closer to my subject matter than the other two paintings done in 2012.  So it is probably, of the three projects, the best "collaboration" between my dad and I.  He loved painting birds, and had a unique style in portraying them that was really his own.  But I got to make a lot of color decisions - so bold color it is!  For instance, the red flowers were, I believe, originally going to be leaves of some sort.  But I felt like the bold flowers were in need.  Hopefully he would have been okay that choice.
  I again, signed both of our names to the bottom.  It has been a while since I have had to forge my dad's name to write a note to the teacher to get out of school, but I don't think I did too bad if I do say so myself.  Ha!  I chose to put two dates on it - 2012 for the year he completed his part in it, 2014 for the year I finished it.  I like to think he would have been happy the end result.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Under the Shadow of Your Wings

 
                     I have been working on this little study off and on for the past couple of weeks.  Today the wind chill in Iowa is -30 something degrees, so it was the perfect day to stay tucked inside and finish this one up!
                     I was thinking a few months back about the beautiful scripture
 in Psalm 91 -
 
                                     "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
                                        Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
                                         I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
                                         My God, in whom I trust!”...
                                         ... He will cover you with His pinions,
                                         And under His wings you may seek refuge; "
                                                                                         Psalm 91 :1-3
                 
                      I have always loved these verses and the word picture of God being like a bird with it's young, covering them with protective wings.  I am always comforted with this thought.
                      My goal is to do a larger project with this theme in mind. To prepare for that I searched through books and on line for reference photos.  This study is based on a photo I found online.  Unfortunately I have no idea who the photographer was, in order to give credit to them.  But it certainly matched the idea of what I picture when I think of Psalm 91.
                      I will keep you all posted on the future project.  Until then - think warm thoughts and hope for spring to come soon!
             


Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Sunburst"



        Happy New year to everyone!  I am trying to start the new year off right, by completing a painting.  2013 was a year of rest of sorts:  I painted less (not by choice, mostly due to schedule restraints), and sat out of the usual art sales/festivals that I would normally be involved in.  I spent a lot of time focusing on family - something that I never will have regrets about!  One thing I really enjoyed this year was doing a lot of painting give aways.  Because I wasn't as involved in art sales I noticed the stack of paintings in my home were getting a little out of control.  I made a conscious
decision to make 2013 a year to give.  I loved it!  I got to give paintings to friends and family and to three or four auctions and benefits to help raise money for people in my community and communities around me who were struggling with health issues and medical expenses.  There is nothing that makes you happier than to give.
     So, here we are in 2014 and I had the pleasure of finishing up this project that I have been working on for the past month or so.  This 4ft. x3ft. oil was a unique project because it was part of "collaboration"  of sorts.  In the nearby city there is a high school student who is a very talented film maker.  For a senior project he has been working on making a film to visually describe a musical composition done by the orchestra conductor of his high school.  He said when he heard the music he immediately pictured artists painting.  He spent several months filming myself and five other local artists working on various paintings.  He will then put it all together to be shown along with the orchestra performing the piece.  I just love it when various creativities work together!
    This painting is titled "Starburst"  and is for sale.  Please contact me by leaving a comment below for further information.

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